What’s the difference between UMF, Active, and MGO?

There’s a lot of information out there on the Internet about Manuka honey and the different ratings available; some information is good, some is okay, and some is just incorrect. Below we’ll settle the matter of Manuka Honey “ratings” for you. From now on you’ll know what “UMF”, “Active”, and “MGO” mean. After reading this article you’ll be able to purchase Manuka honey with confidence, knowing the difference between the ratings and knowing how to determine the real thing. After all, who wants to spend good money on a fake or misrepresented rating?!

Manuka Honey Ratings – what are they anyway?

Manuka flower

Ratings on Manuka honey are supposed to tell you the honey’s antibacterial potency. Manuka honey from New Zealand has some very powerful non-peroxide anti-bacterial properties. That’s one reason why Manuka honey is able to kill off antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. It’s quite impressive really – Manuka honey has a very wide range of uses. You can read more about Manuka honey’s benefits here.

But the questions for the person looking to buy this amazing honey are: “How do I know I’m buying the real thing?”, “How do I know the rating is accurate?”, and “Why do some Manuka honey jars have ‘UMF’, some ‘Active’, and some ‘MGO’?” Let’s answer those questions..

“Active” Manuka Honey

All “Active” means is that the honey in question has some sort of peroxide activity. All honey in the world is “active” in some way or another and when tested will give a reading. This is because all honeys have some sort of “peroxide” activity. Two important facts need to be kept in mind:

  1. If a honey is “active”, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the honey is anti-bacterial, and
  2. There are no laws, regulations, or governing bodies in place to control putting “Active” on jars of Manuka honey.

This means that anyone anywhere can put “Active 10+”, “Active 12+”, “Active 16+”, or even “Active 2,000+” on a jar of Manuka honey and it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Imagine that! You pay good money for a jar of “Manuka honey Active 16+” and you actually just get a jar that has some Manuka honey while being mixed with other multi-floral honeys (similar to what you might find at the supermarket). There is no regulation here, so anyone can claim “Active” and put any number after it.

“MGO” Manuka Honey

What is “MGO”? MGO stands for a substance called Methylglyoxal (pronounced meth-uhl-glahy-ok-suhl). It sounds fancy, but it’s just an organic substance found in Manuka honey that has one part to play in Manuka honey’s antibacterial properties. While MGO plays an important part in Manuka honey’s antibacterial properties, it isn’t the only component that makes Manuka honey such a powerful natural antibacterial. A scientific study done in 2011 noted this interesting fact:

“Methylglyoxal [MGO] was a major bactericidal factor in manuka honey, but after neutralization of this compound manuka honey retained bactericidal activity due to several unknown factors.” [italics here are mine]

Fascinating! After the MGO part of the Manuka honey was neutralized in the lab, Manuka honey still had antibacterial properties. What does this mean? It means that MGO makes up part of of Manuka honey’s antibacterial nature, but not all of it. There are other components that make Manuka honey such a powerful antibacterial.

“Great”, you say, “then what does it mean when I see ‘MGO’ on the label of a jar of Manuka honey?” Good question. It means that the level of MGO in the jar has been measured and a number has been put on the jar. The problem here is:

  • MGO is only one part of the antibacterial nature of Manuka honey (as we just learned)

So, since the MGO component of Manuka honey does not make up the full antibacterial power of Manuka honey (as we saw above), if we assume the MGO number was correct on the label, it still wouldn’t actually tell you how powerful the antibacterial make-up of the Manuka honey is.

“How then”, you ask, “am I to know what the full antibacterial rating of Manuka honey is? Is there any standard that I can go by that will give me confidence to know?” Yes, there is a way to know what the full power of the Manuka honey is and there are regulations and a governing body to guarantee its claims. This leads us to UMF..

“UMF” Manuka Honey

UMF stands for “Unique Manuka Factor.” It tells you what the full non-peroxide antibacterial rating of the Manuka honey is. Since Manuka honey’s antibacterial nature comes from many factors, the UMF rating takes them all into account (including the MGO factor) and gives you a final rating. The most common UMF ratings are UMF 5+, UMF 10+, UMF 15+, and UMF 20+. The “+” after the number just means that it could be more than the number given, but that it won’t be less. For example, a jar of UMF 15+ has a UMF factor of at least 15, but could be higher.

In 1981 a professor at Waikato University in New Zealand, Dr Peter Molan, identified that honey from some strains of the New Zealand Manuka bush (Leptospermum scoparium) contain extraordinary, very stable and powerful non-peroxide antibacterial properties. They are naturally present and not found in any other variety of honey. He then coined the term “Unique Manuka Factor” to describe these properties.

UMF identification information on a jar of UMF Manuka honey

The UMF rating is audited and regulated by the Unique Manuka Factor Honey Association (UMFHA) in New Zealand. Manuka honey that carries the UMF rating is tracked from the Apiaries (the Bee Keeper’s yard) through to the packaging factory. Every jar can be traced back to the individual Apiary and to the lab that tested its batch for the UMF potency. Each jar of UMF Manuka honey will have what you see to the right; a date of manufacturing, a best before date, and a batch number (which is used for tracking as described above).

The UMF standard is a global and authoritative standard. Its supply chain is independently audited and verified. No one can use the UMF label anywhere in the world unless they adhere to the stringent UMF auditing process required to ensure the ratings and labels are accurate.


Well, there you have it, the run-down on Active, UMF, and MGO. You now have the knowledge you require to go out there and know what you’re talking about around ratings. If you have any further questions about these ratings, feel free to comment below.

Also, please have a look at our UMF Manuka honey available here.

All the best,



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147 thoughts on “What’s the difference between UMF, Active, and MGO?

    • Hi Rusty,

      We don’t normally comment on other brands, but if a brand only has “active” then it’s not really telling you anything. What does “active 16+” actually mean? 16 units of something? There is no standard for those who use the term “active” by itself. It could mean anything (or nothing at all).

      We stand behind our Manuka honey – it is 100% pure genuine UMF Manuka honey! Visit our website for more details: http://www.nzmanukanatural.com/.

      All the best,

      NZ Manuka Natural Team

        • Hi Romana,

          It could be because these days it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find genuine UMF Manuka honey. It is a 100% natural product and its production depends fully on the bees and how much they produce. It cannot be controlled or produced artificially by humans. In addition to that it only comes from New Zealand (and a very small sliver of South Australia), so there isn’t anywhere else in the world that produces it!

          Thanks and all the best,

          NZMN Team

      • He is saying he heard through many sources that we should not use a metallic spoon to scoop the honey out of the jar, for it may affect the properties of the honey. Is this true?

        • Ah, got it. As far as we know, there is no scientific reason why using a metal spoon would take away from the health benefits of Manuka honey (or any other honey, for that matter). Unless the person telling you this can give you some logical and/or biochemical reason why it is bad to scoop honey with a metal spoon then they are just spreading an urban myth (knowingly or unknowingly). And we don’t think urban myths are good :-)


          NZMN Team

          • Hi,

            While there is no scientific proof that metal may destroy the good properties of honey, I could not find a scientific study that proves otherwise as well. Do you have it?

            Some were saying it is better to use inert materials like plastic or porcelain for scooping up the honey as it has less chance for the honey to react or corrode the metal since honey is acidic. Some were saying since the action of scooping the honey is fast, it is unlikely that there would be any reaction or corrosion (note the term ‘unlikely’, not ‘certainly’).

            Given this chemical theory which I personally feel it does make some sense and there is no study to prove otherwise as well, do you recommend us to store honey water in a stainless steel flask for a day’s consumption instead of drinking it from a cup (as I prefer to drink warm honey as it gets cold all the time in air-conditioned office)?

            Many thanks in advance for your advice.

          • Hi Michy,

            Thank you for your comment!

            If someone makes an affirmative statement about something (for example, “Metal may destroy the good properties of honey”) with no evidence to back it up and then states that the other party has to provide evidence to the contrary in order to prove it wrong is a logical fallacy called Ad Ignorantiam, see here: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/burden-of-proof.html.

            There is no reason not to store honey water in a stainless steel flask – great way to transport it hot! :-) Alternatively, you can find flasks with glass insulation instead of metal – they just might be more expensive! :-)

            All the best,

            NZMN Team

    • Hi Jenny,

      Great question. Honey can certainly be mixed with hot or boiling water, no problem.

      There is an urban myth floating around the Internet that somehow honey becomes toxic in hot water. This is not accurate at all and is just a rumour. There is no scientific evidence to support this in any way. If anything, the opposite is true. Diffusing UMF Manuka honey into hot water for a tea means drinking pure, delicious, low-glycemic, antibacterial, antioxidant-rich goodness!

      However, I would mix the honey with hot water only, rather than boiling water because direct contact with boiling water may kill some of the natural and super-healthy enzymes in honey. Other than that, hot water and honey are good friends! Feel free to have a great cup of hot tea with Manuka honey any time. It is a healthy way to relax and unwind or to treat a sore throat.

      Let us know if you have any other questions.

      I think I’ll go have a cup of hot Manuka honey tea! Yum yum! :-)

      NZMN Team

        • Hi Jenny,

          No problem, glad to help. Let me know if you have any other questions.

          Thank you for spreading the word!

          NZMN Team

      • But as some enzymes do get deactivated by heat, would it not make more sense to stay below about 40°C and certainly not go above 65°C? Is there any research that tested if the UMF gets affected by heat? If it does get affected or if there is no such research, would it not make more sense not to expose it to high temperatures?

        • Hi Peter,

          There is no research that I’m aware of at the moment. However, yes, if it concerns you then it wouldn’t be a bad idea to keep it below that temperature in drinks.

          Although, in saying that, if you placed a teaspoon or two of UMF Manuka honey into a cup of tea, the amount of time that the temperature would be high would be very short and would have very little effect even if the high temperature was a problem. It’s another story if you’re boiling the Manuka honey before eating it :-)

          Thanks again for your question!


          NZMN Team

  1. Hi, thank you for this article.

    In a effort to understand the difference between UMF and MGO I found an article that actually claims that UMF ratings are misleading whereas the MGO ratings are more reliable and accurate.

    May you respond to the claims made in this article? In particular:

    “… UMF® (Unknown Manuka Factor) activity is measured by the same assay only after Hydrogen Peroxide activity in the honey is neutralized by enzyme Catalyze. In normal honey there will be no activity left after the treatment. In some Manuka Honey there could be still antibacterial activity left – they call it UMF®. And the numbers will be UMF®10 if honey does the same job as 10% solution of Phenol against bacteria, UMF®20 if honey kills the same area of bacteria as 20% solution of Phenol.

    First of all this assay is very unreliable and its repeatability has up to 50% error. Scientists only use it for screening.

    Secondly there is a wide area for cheating. Some producers just do the Hydrogen Peroxide test and use it for rating their Manuka honey. They call it Active 10+, 15+, 20+ and even 30+, or BioActive 10+ etc…”

    • Hi Raz,

      We can certainly respond.

      Firstly, UMF stands for Unique Manuka Factor, not “Unknown Manuka Factor”. That, right off the bat, tells me they haven’t done their research.

      This website claims “First of all this assay is very unreliable and its repeatability has up to 50% error. Scientists only use it for screening.” Where is the evidence to support this? It is an empty claim. The UMF standard has stringent and scientific oversight, is highly reliable, and is THE standard here in New Zealand. See their website here: http://umf.org.nz/

      They state “..there is a wide area for cheating. Some producers just do the Hydrogen Peroxide test and use it for rating their Manuka honey. They call it Active 10+, 15+, 20+ and even 30+, or BioActive 10+ etc…” This is nonsense. In order to legally carry the UMF certification on a honey product in New Zealand the honey has to go through very stringent and highly researched process. UMF oversight includes: independent facility audits, independent NPA label audits, independent oversight on promotional claims made by UMF license holders, independent product traceability from the bee apiaries through to each individual jar, internationally recognised antibacterial testing, and internationally recognised product testing. See here for more details: http://umf.org.nz/

      If anyone just has “Active” or “BioActive” then, yes, the claim on their product is empty (please ready the blog post above – we explain this). If someone carries the UMF quality mark then you know you’re getting the genuine item. If you have doubts as to whether they carry the proper UMF license, you can check the license holders here: http://umf.org.nz/licensees. Our product operates under UMF license 1045.

      I read the rest of the article on that website and they clearly have their facts wrong. They note, “In 2006 German leading food scientists discovered that high levels of Dietary Methylglyoxal are exclusively responsible for the unique anti-bacterial activity of some New Zealand Manuka Honey.” This is actually incorrect (I note they don’t even have a link to a scholarly or scientific article about the supposed findings of the “German leading food scientists”). Read our blog post above. You will see that Methylglyoxal is not the only component in Manuka honey that gives it its antibacterial properties. See this peer-reviewed scientific article supporting our point: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048876/. Note the study states, “Methylglyoxal [MGO] was a major bactericidal factor in Manuka honey, but after neutralization of this compound Manuka honey retained bactericidal activity due to several unknown factors.” So, clearly MGO is not the only factor. Hence, measuring the MGO in Manuka honey alone won’t do it justice.

      I hope this helps. Let us know if you have any further questions.

      Many thanks,

      NZMN Team

  2. There is another rating system out there for manuka honey where products claim an “Active AAH” rating, usually of 650+ for the strong skincare stuff. (This is what the Wild Ferns skincare uses and also what Airborne is selling…) It claims to be more reliable than UMF testing, do you know if this is legit please? If I buy AAH 650+ honey, am I getting ripped off?

    • Hi Ingrid,

      Thank you for the comment. I’ve done some research and asked a few industry experts about this “Active AAH” rating. It seems that not much is known about what this rating means, how the testing is done, or what exactly they are testing for. Saying they’re “testing for antibacterial activity” doesn’t mean anything unless they explain how they measure “antibacterial activity”. Unfortunately they don’t provide much public-facing information about this method. It doesn’t lend it much credibility.

      The best thing to do would be to ask them about the method. The questions I would ask the Airborn people are:

      -How do you measure the antibacterial levels?
      -What type of antibacterial activity are you measuring?
      -How does your measuring work? Is the testing done independently by independent labs?
      -How often are the honey drums from the apiaries tested?
      -Can you please provide more information on your rating method?

      If they can’t answer these questions, then there is no reason to trust their rating. What does “650+” mean anyway? 650 units of something or other? It is meaningless unless they can explain properly what the number actually means – which they don’t do (as at the writing of this comment). They could just as well put “10,000+” on their label to make it sound better :-)

      I hope this helps. Please let me know if you have any further questions. For more information on the UMF rating and how it works, please see the organisation’s website here: http://umf.org.nz/.

      Many thanks,

      NZMN Team

  3. The only company to use the MGO rating for manuka honey is Manuka Health. So in effect you are calling them dishonest. Excellent business ethics there, thumbs up!

    • Hi Anna,

      Thank you for your comment. We appreciate you bringing this up and believe open and free dialogue is important for the public to get honest information.

      In response to your comment, I have a question for you. If a brand could potentially mislead the public as to what is being purchased, would you want to know? This is why we are bringing it up. We believe it is truly excellent business ethics to bring forward true facts and expose incorrect fact, figures or information. Do you believe this is a bad thing to do?

      The Commerce Commission here in New Zealand has just finished an in-depth investigation into Manuka Health and their MGO claims. They have determined that, based on over 200 samples of Manuka Health’s Manuka honey, the MGO content was overstated by 55%!

      You can see the letter from the NZ Commerce Commission to Manuka Health here: http://nzmanukanatural.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/NZ-Commerce-Commission-Letter.pdf. Please read the two page letter in its entirety.

      This is obviously concerning for the MGO rating. The UMF ratig has strong independent oversight and testing; the testing is not done by the bee-keepers, manufacturers, the retailers, or the UMF organisation – it is done by independent labs in New Zealand. See here for details: http://www.umf.org.nz/umf-trademark.

      The Manuka Health website still has incorrect information on it (as of the writing of this comment). Their website (here: http://manukahealth.co.nz/MHNZ/MGO-certification.html) states that MGO is “exclusively responsible for the unique anti-bacterial activity of some New Zealand Manuka Honey”.

      This is simply incorrect information. A scientific, independent study (reference: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048876/) published in 2011 (among other scientific studies concluding the same thing) stated:

      “Methylglyoxal [MGO] was a major bactericidal factor in manuka honey, but after neutralization of this compound manuka honey retained bactericidal activity due to several unknown factors.”

      This is critical. After the MGO part of the Manuka honey was neutralized in the lab, Manuka honey still had antibacterial properties.

      What does this mean? It means that:

      1) MGO makes up part of Manuka honey’s antibacterial nature, but not all of it


      2) the Manuka Health website still has incorrect, misleading information on it.

      There are other components beside MGO that make Manuka honey such a powerful antibacterial. UMF measures the full non-peroxide anti-bacterial properties of Manuka Honey – not just part of it. And the UMF standard is independently tested and vetted.

      We hope this helps answer your question. We appreciate frank and honest discussion about these issues. Please let us know if you have any further questions.


      NZMN Team

  4. Hello,
    I need the honey as a facial cleanser and mask externally to clear acne and blemishes.
    I read that require at least UMF 15+, and UMF 20+ is too strong.Is there a truth to the claims?
    Otherwise what UMF would be sufficient?

    Also how can this be most effective to treat acne?


    • Hi Zac,

      UMF 20+ would not be too strong – it would be great. UMF Manuka honey would be fantastic for treating acne because its healing/antibacterial/antiviral properties are so strong. The only real downside for treating acne is that you have to put a lot of honey all over your face :-)

      But, hey, if it works then it’s worth the sticky face for a little while :-)

      Thanks again for posting your question and let us know if you have any other questions.

      Many thanks,

      NZMN Team

      • I’d just like to say THANK YOU! For posting this! I’ve been suffering with mild acne over the past few months and nothing has happened. A friend recommended I try only manuka honey on my face, the higher the rating the better.

        I bought some ‘Active +15′ manuka honey yesterday and gave it a go. I also have it on my face as I type right now (!) I am a tad worried that I’ve spent £30 on bloody honey and it won’t work however, after reading your post.

        This is not UMF rated honey, but it does have a sell-by date? Please can you give me a little advice? Have I just wasted money, when the UMF rating is the only one that really matters? Bugger!

        Thoughts, please and thank you – the above is WONDERFULLY informative! Thank you again!


        • Hi Tammy,

          No problem, glad you found the post helpful!

          If it’s not UMF honey it might still help a little – as all honey has some form of hydrogen peroxide activity that can help your acne. Of course, a high grade UMF Manuka honey would be a far superior product that may help you with the acne.

          Please let us know if you have any further questions.

          All the best,

          NZMN Team

  5. Hi! Is it true that I have to take Manuka Honey with a piece of bread of cracker, instead of neat, in order to make sure that the benefits of the honey do not go directly into the blood stream and to make sure it stays in the stomach for some time in order to work it’s antibacterial properties in the esophagus and stomach?

    • Hi there,

      Interesting question. Not that we are aware of. There aren’t any scientific and/or clinical studies we’re aware of that show this is the case.


      NZMN Team

  6. Thanks for the info. I immediately checked my manuka honey jar and it said UMF active 10. That is quite confusing. I also don’t see any certification from UMFHA. The honey is imported from New Zealand, but has my country local label on it. Do you think the UMF is genuine?

    • Hi Jas,

      There is a way to check. Go here and see if you can find the brand/company: umf.org.nz/licensees. If they don’t exist there then it’s not genuine UMF Manuka honey.

      Let us know if you have any further questions.


      NZMN Team

  7. Here in Canada we have Manuka honey (it is called Manuka Health Manuka Honey)) distributed by Flora.It is rated manuka Honey Blend, Bronze (2 stars),Silver (three stars) Gold (four stars) and Platinum (5 stars)It is packed by Manuka Health in New Zealand .What do you make of this rating system ? Cheers PS You suggest hat the star system is a duplicate comment but I cannot see that it was addressed in any of the postings!

    • Hi Paul,

      Thank you for your comment. I’ve never heard of this rating system. What do the stars represent? What does Gold, four stars, actually mean? Anyone could give Manuka honey or any honey 2 stars, 5 stars, 20 stars :-) , but what does it mean? Unless it has some real significance, then it’s just marketing :-) .

      Please let me know if you’re able to find out what more stars mean or how the star ratings are measured, because this brand and rating doesn’t seem to have any information as to their methodology, scientific method, or guarantee of label accuracy by independent audits and lab testing. The UMF brand does, and that’s why we like it :-) . See here: umf.org.nz/ for details.

      Let me know if you have any further questions.

      Many thanks,

      NZMN Team

  8. What is the difference between raw cold pressed manuka honey and normal manuka honey. Does the way manuka honey is processed effect any of it’s anti-bacterial properties ? Thank you

    • Hi there,

      I didn’t know there was a difference. Unless I’m mistaken, Manuka honey is not pressed :-) (like an olive or something similar). Manuka honey is harvested from bee hives in Apiaries that have fields upon fields of Manuka Tree bush. There is no pressing that happens.

      Thanks for your question.

      NZMN Team

  9. Hi there! I am fighting an uphill battle, and it seems to be a losing one.

    I built my skin care product line on Active Manuka Honey – I proudly call it the “Milk & Manuka” line. My products are geared towards those who have skin issues (eczema, acne, dermatitis, even scalp folliculitis). But, I have seen a sharp decline in my sales in the last year.

    It has gotten especially bad during the Active Manuka shortage of 2011-2012. Fake brands cropped up in droves, and unscrupulous sellers advertising Manuka honey in their products, came out of nowhere, undercutting my prices as much as 75%. Some aren’t as deceptive as others – such as not putting “active”, “UMF” in their advertising – but they might as well, for as little as the public knows about it to begin with.

    When I began utilizing Manuka, I drank in all the information I could on the internet, including scientific abstracts, to arm myself with the knowledge about it. I’ve even corresponded with Dr. Peter Molan (nice man). It’s miraculous.

    These competitors, scammers, are not only affecting those of us who sell products containing the REAL ACTIVE Manuka, but also the brands, to the point where we may be driven out of business.

    I fear, the market could be, or has become, so flooded with fake Manuka, that a proven, miraculous gift of nature, based on 20 years of scientific study and testing, could have its reputation irreversibly damaged because of these charlatans.

    What has been your company’s experience to combat this very real problem?


    • Hi Krista,

      Our apologies for the delay in responding. We receive a lot of email enquiries and endeavour to respond to everyone in the order their enquiry is received.

      You are correct, the market is flooded with many fake Manuka honey products. To help combat this, we are closely aligned with the UMFHA (see their website here: http://umf.org.nz/). This organisation works to bring genuine Manuka honey to the market. Unfortunately, we are unable to stop people from making false claims. However, we are able to ensure the Manuka honey we provide is genuine and have the credentials to prove it.

      Please let us know if you have any further questions.

      Many thanks,

      NZMN Team

  10. Thank you so much for such am amazingly informative and interesting article. It has answered questions I’ve had for several years.

    I have always bought my Manuka honey at a health food shop when they have a particular offer on but have never been really sure that I am having the genuine Manuka.

    I now know what to look for!

    • Hi Edward,

      Good question, the article above will answer your question precisely and help you decide which is the better choice for you.

      All the best,

      NZMN Team

  11. In the article above, there is a graphic of the UMF labele, and included on that label is a “Best used by” date. Since honey has never expires, can you explain what this date means?

    • Hi Suzanne,

      Good question! For packaged food in New Zealand it is required by law to have at least a “best used by” date. I would imagine the purpose it serves is so that the consumer knows when it was packaged, etc.

      But, you are correct, honey won’t go bad – yay for honey!


      NZMN Team

  12. Is manuka honey helpful for overgrowth of yeast in the digestive tract? Also, if digestive enzymes including hydrochloric acid and pepsin do not seem to be working for gas and nutritional absorption, can manuka honey help? What UMF would be the best?
    Thank you!

  13. I’m confused about the different UMF ratings. Where would one use UMF5+ as opposed to UMF 20+. Do the various ratings relate to treatment of different ailments? Eg, would 5+ treat sores but 20+ might be better for digestive issues, or vice versa?

    • Hi Isobel,

      The UMF ratings represent the degree of the Manuka honey’s antibacterial strength. It is directly related to the phenol standard. You can read more details on the official UMF Organisation’s website, here: http://www.umf.org.nz/what-is-umf-honey.

      In answer to your question about what the different ratings would be good for:

      -5+ is more of a maintenance rating – good for maintenance of good health
      -10+ is slightly therapeutic and good for minor ailments
      -15+ is stronger and good for things like acid reflux, cuts on the skin, etc.
      -20+ is one of the strongest, is highly therapeutic and is good for treating the most difficult ailments

      I hope this helps!


      NZMN Team

    • Hi Swan,

      Good question. The best person to ask regarding what to eat while pregnant would definitely be your doctor. Our UMF Manuka honey is not pasteurised. It is raw Manuka honey, only heated slightly and put through a fine mesh filter to get rid of the wax and bugs so that we can export it from New Zealand.

      Thanks for asking!

      NZMN Team

  14. Hi, thank you for a most informative article to recognise the ‘real’ Manuka Honey! If Manuka Honey is produced outside NZ, as in here in Australia, can it have still obtain the correct UMV certification?
    Look forward to your reply, thanks in advance.

    • Hi Janine,

      Yes, Manuka honey produced outside New Zealand would be able to get the proper UMF certification. The only other place Manuka honey is produced other than New Zealand at this stage (as far as I’m aware) is South Australia – where they have their own wild Manuka bush growth.

      Let us know if you have any further questions!


      NZMN Team

        • Not necessarily. Manuka honey can be exported from New Zealand to all over Australia (except South Australia). So, it is likely you would be able to buy genuine Manuka honey in many places throughout Australia.


          NZMN Team

  15. Just this week I became aware that in the USA in August of 2012
    a honey manufacturer called Honeymark launched a lawsuit against
    Wedderspoon Manuka Manufacturer claiming that they were claiming
    falsely their UMF ratings as displayed on their bottles of honey.
    Honeymark sent a sample of Wedderspoon’s 16+ honey to their own labs
    for testing and it turned out that the sample only had a 4-6+ UMF
    rating not the 16+ Wedderspoon had claimed and it was even below
    the level for been considered Active as well. Look up Honeymark
    and Wedderspoon lawsuit to read more. This brand is sold commonly
    in Canada and I was going to purchase it as a first time buy and
    now do not know what to do. There is one other common brand here
    made by Flora but they use this crazy rating system of bronzze (one
    star), silver (two stars), gold (three stars), and platinum ( four
    stars) and not the UMF rating and I just do not know how this com-
    pares to the UMF rating.

    • Hi Margo,

      Wedderspoon Manuka honey is not UMF honey. They only place “Active” on their label and put a number after it (10+, 16+, etc.).

      We aren’t surprised that their “Active” rating may not be accurate. Please see the article above for our take on “Active”.


      NZMN Team

    • Hi Becky,

      Manuka Health is the company that sells MGO Manuka honey. Please see our thoughts on the MGO rating in the article above. In short, MGO (a compound found in Manuka honey called Methylglyoxal) is one component that makes up Manuka honey’s anti-bacterial strength. So, it measures one aspect of Manuka honey’s anti-bacterial nature. UMF, on the other hand, measures all aspects of Manuka honey’s anti-bacterial power. Because of this we believe that the UMF rating gives a fuller (and therefore more accurate) representation of Manuka honey’s antibacterial strength.

      Manuka honey is a honey produced by bees that gather pollen from the Tea Tree blossom. It is very healthy (see the scientific studies on our Website) and great for eating.

      Please let us know if you have any further questions.


      NZMN Team

  16. Thank you for the valuable information in distinguishing the true Manuka honeys from the imposters.
    My first question is if the manufacturer is not on the umf.org.nz licenses does that grantee it is not providing a compliant genuine product?
    My second question is, although I understand this is a Manuka forum, and that all honey has some great benifits, what are your thoughts on Tasmanian Leatherwood honeys medicinal qualities?

    • Hi Claire,

      If the brand of the honey doesn’t show up on the umf.org.nz licenses list, then you can be 100% sure it is not UMF Manuka honey, since the brand isn’t certified and doesn’t follow the very strict quality and vetting process used by licensees.

      Regarding Tasmanian Leatherwood, I’ve never heard of it so I’m unable to comment on it unfortunately.

      Have a great new year!

      NZMN Team

  17. I keep reading that manuka honey has ” non-peroxide” but I want my honey to have hydrogen peroxide in it . Please explain. and will the 5+ contain hydrogen peroxide

    • Hi Ki,

      Good question! Almost all honey, including UMF Manuka honey, has some level of hydrogen peroxide. The UMF rating rates the overall anti-bacterial power after the peroxide activity has been deactivated.

      This means that when you receive a bottle of UMF Manuka honey, you know that you’re not only getting the peroxide content, but also the powerful antibacterial properties unique to Manuka honey (UMF). So, you get both with UMF Manuka honey!

      Hope this helps!

      NZMN Team

      • Interesting point! But are the two effects (peroxide and UMF) really independent from each other?? Otherwise it doesn’t make sense to grade the anti-bacterial power of manuka honey by just giving the UMF. What if the presence of peroxide affects the overall anti-bacterial power giving a neutralizing or amplifying (non-linear) effect?

        Second question: do you know the work by Atrott and Henle from 2009? They clearly show a robust linear correlation between the MGO level and the antibacterial activity, taking into account independent data. So why not translating MGO to UMF according to this correlation? Furthermore I’m surprized that Kwakman et al. (mentioned above) do not refer to this paper…

        • Hi Christof,

          The peroxide activity and the non-peroxide activity are in fact independent of one another. In scientific studies when the peroxide activity in Manuka honey is deactivated, the non-peroxide activity (NPA) is still alive and well.

          Yes, good point, there is a correlation between the level of Methylglyoxal in Manuka honey and it’s NPA. It’s not exact, but there is a correlation. The higher the Methylglyoxal, the higher the NPA that’s for sure.

          All the best!

          NZMN Team

    • Hi there,

      It won’t be exactly the same thing, because the concentration of the 10+ will still be 10+ even though you’ve had more if it. If that makes sense. Let me know if you’d like us to explain any further.


      NZMN Team

  18. I am reading the parts above “Wedderspoon Manuka honey is not UMF honey.”
    Is this only because to be UMF honey, it needs to be made in New Zealand?

    If so, not explaining this clearly when making this statement is only going to add to confusion amongst us consumers, not help them, as per the aim of your website?

    • Good question! In order for Manuka honey to be UMF it the producer needs to be part of the UMFHA organization in New Zealand and adhere to strict auditing and scientific lab testing of their honey. You can go to their Website here: http://www.umf.org.nz

      Wedderspoon at this stage is not UMF certified. It may or may not be good Manuka honey, but it’s simply not UMF certified and doesn’t submit to the UMF standards.


      NZMN Team

  19. Reading thru the articles online, the main ingredients that provide benefits include Hydrogen Peroxide and MG http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/manuka-honey-medicinal-uses

    Neither of these are enzymes, so could not be destroyed by putting in boiling water, i.e. in a normal cup of tea? Or are other enzymes key?

    If there is a mechanism already via the UMP to measure the anti-bacterial properties of honey, could this not be tested – i.e. the UMP rating of raw honey versus honey that has been dissolved in water at near boiling point?

    Otherwise, to ensure the properties of Manuka are not destroyed, may be easier just to put the honey on toast!



    • Hi Andrew,

      Yeah, that’s true, the properties that make it anti-bacterial wouldn’t be enzymes anyway. I suppose people are probably just thinking of the general health properties that the enzymes in Manuka honey offer aside from the UMF properties.

      You make a good point – if you’re concerned about killing enzymes, definitely eat it in other ways (toast, with plain yogurt, etc). There are a bunch of great ways to enjoy honey!


      NZMN Team

  20. Hi, great research. I do have a question I.e. to irradiation of the honey to remove un healthy parasites or bacteria or ? That would be harmful. Your thoughts on this subject would be appreciated. Thank you

    • Hi Chuck,

      Thanks! That’s a good question. Based on current scientific research, irradiation of honey to sterilize it doesn’t seem to be harmful to the honey or to affect the honey’s antibacterial properties.

      A study done by Molan and Alan (found here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8961174) states that “There was no significant change found in either type of antibacterial activity resulting from this form of sterilization of honey, even when the radiation was doubled.”

      Thanks again for asking!

      NZMN Team

  21. Bought a manuka honey today at a pharmacy. MGO 400. Product of New Zealand. There was one with less MGO and is much cheaper than MGO 400. I have no idea what MGO is … Anyway, I guess more expensive means better …. Thanks for the info.

    • Hi Kenny,

      Please see our blog post above on what MGO is. More expensive doesn’t always mean better! If you’re going to spend more money, we recommend getting the genuine certified UMF Manuka honey.

      Thanks for the comment.

      All the best,

      NZMN Team

  22. I am wondering about using this to fight MRSA. I bought some manuka honey and they only had one kind, so I got the mgo 250. I heard it was like the 16. Should I just buy the highest UmF?

    • Hi Kelly,

      We would recommend UMF over MGO. We aren’t medical professionals and can’t give medical advice, but from an anecdotal perspective for things like MRSA we would recommend UMF 20+.


      NZMN Team

  23. Hi, I have a few questions:

    1) Are two spoonfuls of UMF10+ as good as one spoonful of UMF20+? Do I get the same amount of benefit after consuming twice the amount of UMF10 as that of UMF20?
    2) Is there any known side effects from higher UMF honey?

    • Hi JC,

      Good questions!

      1) You wouldn’t get the same benefit as 20+ if you consumed double the amount of 10+ because the UMF level isn’t necessarily about the concentration. We have written a blog post about the rating and how it works here. Hopefully this helps.

      2) None that I am aware of. There is a huge body of scientific research for high grade Manuka honey and I’ve never come across any side effects of eating it. You can find a lot of the research on our Website here.

      Thanks for posting and feel free to ask any other questions!

      NZMN Team

  24. I eat honey all the time in smoothies, porridge, and on toast
    My question is with the stronger and unfilted honey, does it have more bee pollen in and a greater chance of allergy reactions

    • Hi Jenny,

      If the honey is raw and unfiltered, then yes it would definitely have more bee pollen in it. But, even processed honey has bee pollen in it.

      Thanks for your question! Feel free to post any other questions you might have.


      NZMN Team

  25. Hi I have some manuka honey that I recently bought and it says “certified 300+ dietary methylglyoxal mg/kg”. It makes it look pretty official but is this a genuine certification?

    • Hi Natalie,

      That’s interesting. It depends. It could very well have undergone some lab tests to check the level of methylglyoxal. I wouldn’t be able say much about it without seeing it. If you want you can send a photo of it through to company@nzmanukanatural.com and I’ll have a look for you! :-)


      NZMN Team

  26. I just finished reading your article and let me say, I really appreciate the genuine companies like yours that promote the truth and only the truth. Like many other readers, I have several questions. Since your Manuka honey is at its purest/rawest form, I was wondering if it’s safe to actually ingest the honey when it’s so natural? Because I read in one of your replies that the honey might contain pollen and like itsy bits remains of the bee stuff. Is that safe to ingest? I was just curious. Also, which moderate/best form of UMF Manuka Honey would you recommend? I personally was thinking a UMF of 15+… Also, are you the manager of your company or what? I’m just really curious lol. Also, how many times would you recommend ingesting this manuka honey? I know it says it can be consumed daily with up to 3 spoons, but with the pollen and remains in the honey, would that be safe? No side effects? Thanks for the beautiful article and I was just about to buy the Wedderspoon honey but your article saved me. Keep spreading the love and never conform to the government and its nasty tactics along with the other useless companies accompanying them. Promise me that you’ll stay to your customers and never conform to anything that will harm the environment and your precious customers. Seriously, thanks for everything. You know your stuff, you spread the truth, we need more people like that. This company taking the time to respond to every person is just admirable. Keep the faith man. Good luck.

    • Also, when I clicked on your company under UMF number 1045, the price of your honey was way higher and different than the one you linked on here. Are you guys the same brand? Cause you look really similar to the nz health naturally brand o.o

      • Hi Sara,

        We are re-sellers of NZ Health Naturally UMF Manuka honey, who are licensed under UMF license 1045.

        NZMN Team

    • Hi Sara,

      Apologies for the delayed reply – we’ve had such a large number of posts and inquiries lately.

      Thank you for your kind comments about our company!

      Since your Manuka honey is at its purest/rawest form, I was wondering if it’s safe to actually ingest the honey when it’s so natural?

      Yes, it is – it’s even better to ingest when it’s so natural. Your stomach will thank you!

      Because I read in one of your replies that the honey might contain pollen and like itsy bits remains of the bee stuff. Is that safe to ingest?

      Yes, it is. People often eat pollen or take it in capsules – pollen is completely safe (unless you have an allergy to bee products).

      I was just curious. Also, which moderate/best form of UMF Manuka Honey would you recommend? I personally was thinking a UMF of 15+

      It would depend on what you’d like to do with it. The higher the UMF rating the better for overall health. I’d say this would be a good guide:
      -5+ is more of a maintenance rating – good for maintenance of good health
      -10+ is slightly therapeutic and good for minor ailments
      -15+ is stronger and good for things like acid reflux, cuts on the skin, etc.
      -20+ is one of the strongest, is highly therapeutic and is good for treating the most difficult ailments

      Also, are you the manager of your company or what?

      Yes, I am one of the managing directors :-)

      Also, how many times would you recommend ingesting this manuka honey? I know it says it can be consumed daily with up to 3 spoons, but with the pollen and remains in the honey, would that be safe? No side effects?

      You can have as much as you want. Some days I will have a lot, but it is expensive, so best to have it in in moderation for overall health.

      Thanks again for your comments!

      NZMN Team

  27. Hi, I know it’s weird but friend of mine from UK just told me that how good is Manuka Honey for curing Cold/Flue. What I want to know is when i am buying Manuka honey, what are the numbers i should look for UMF & MGO ?

    • Hi Asad,

      If you have a cold or the flu I would recommend at least UMF 15+. We would stick with UMF only.


      NZMN Team

  28. Hi, Im just wondering which umf should i choose for acne. is umf 20+ will be too strong? what if it’s for curing severe acne? what would u suggest?


    • Hi Alin,

      For Acne UMF 20+ is great! I would go with at least UMF 15+ for acne – as this will still be powerful enough. UMF Manuka honey for Acne is amazing!

      All the best,

      NZMN Team

  29. Thanks for yr great info. I was given a bottle of honey
    from Brisbane , ABS HONEY ( JELLY BUSH HONEY) claiming that it is tested for MGO 800+ and ULF 32+ MANUKA HONEY. It is bright dark brown in colour and it tasted a bit bitter.
    Is it a real product.

    What about the superbee brand’s honey in Australia , it is
    not licensed with UMF ?

  30. I cannot find umf certified manuka honey locally in the united states- every natural food store or vitamin stores carry these labels that do not have umf certification. One store in particular carries Y.S. Eco Bee Farm 15+ and another store carries their own brand with umf10+ with no certification label. Help I was going to pursue manuka honey as an alternative to antibiotics for a family member who is in need due to lung infection. Now I have given up on buying Manuka honey based on your article because I cannot find certified manuka honey. I am now forced to get the doctor recommended antibiotic which I was trying to avoid. These natural foods cannot be trusted.

  31. Hi, is 20+ the highest UMF available? Someone told me to look for 60+ but I see you only have a 20+ product as the highest.

    • Hi Vanessa,

      UMF 20+ would be around the highest. You can get higher, but it is very rare because UMF Manuka honey cannot be created by humans. We totally depend on the bees to produce the honey and the independent labs test the level of non-peroxide antibacterial activity (UMF). I’ve never see or heard of genuine UMF Manuka honey 60+.


      NZMN Team

  32. Are you sure Manuka honey is not able to be imported to South Australia? I have read elsewhere that it is in fact Western Australia. I am after 20 + or higher so if I can’t source it in Sth Aust I will be looking at getting it online from NZ.

    • Hi Adele,

      Yes, it is South Australia that we cannot ship to. There is wild Manuka tree in southeastern Australia (although, compared to NZ the number of Australian Manuka trees is small).

      Let us know if you have any further questions.


      NZMN Team

  33. Hi, this is the article I have been searching for – I am so glad to have come across it. I am new to Manuka honey and really hope it can help me with some of my health problems. Your article was well written, easy to understand and had great links to other pages where I could learn more about UMF Honey. Kudos to you (and your team, if it was a collab article)!

    I read all your replies to the previous comments and found this one particularly informative:
    ” -5+ is more of a maintenance rating – good for maintenance of good health
    -10+ is slightly therapeutic and good for minor ailments
    -15+ is stronger and good for things like acid reflux, cuts on the skin, etc.
    -20+ is one of the strongest, is highly therapeutic and is good for treating the most difficult ailments”

    My question would be specifically about the UMF rating number. I saw really expensive honey with UMF +150 ratings at my healthcare shop. I checked and the brand (nzhealth naturally) is listed on the link provided above, thereby verfiying its authenticity.

    Does this high UMF factor mean anything, or is anything past 20+ UMF, considered negligible? And Given its high potency, what is it best used for? (e.g. anti-acne masks, curing mild food poisoning etc.?)

    Thank you so much for answering all our questions. Really grateful and looking forward to hearing from you.


    • Hi Tamara,

      Thank you for your kind comments!

      Regarding your question, did you mean UMF 15+? Or 150+? Unfortunately there is no such rating as UMF 150+. Feel free to send us a photo of the jar so that we can have a look for you. Our email address is company@nzmanukanatural.com.

      Generally, any rating past 20+ starts to have diminished returns in clinical studies.

      Feel free to let us know if you have any further questions.


      NZMN Team

  34. Hi,
    I’ve had a bad burn on my inner thigh and needed a skin graft. This is taking a while to heal as it was an uneven burn, involving the dermal and epidermal layers and in some ares having islands of normal skin within the burn area.
    Do you think the manuka honey would be beneficial and if so which one/rating?
    Thank you

    • Hi SJ,

      Sorry to hear about the burn. Sounds terrible.

      From an anecdotal perspective, UMF 15+ would be good, but UMF 20+ would be even better. Since you won’t need to use a lot of it to cover the burn area (it just needs to be a thin coat), the 20+ should last you a while. It is REALLY good for healing. My son recently scraped up his forehead on our family home driveway and the UMF Manuka honey keeps it clean and is helping it to heal really well!

      All the best,

      NZMN Team

  35. I bought the Honey company name is “The Big Carrtos” one they recommended and says it is Pesticide Free,please guide me and I don’t have the situational knowledge.My question is pesticide free honey has the same nutrients and health bennifits?
    The other thing I would like to ask you,I bought Raw Honey,it’s cost me $45 and I am using this honey for my face.
    I love this artical:) Thanks

    • Hi Humaira,

      Thanks for your question.

      I’m not sure they can guarantee it’s pesticide free. See our article here.

      Raw honey is good for the face. Was it UMF Manuka honey?


      NZMN Team

  36. Hi! I live in Norway and the only brands of Manuka honey I can find here is Comvita and Manuka Health New Zealand. So far I have been using Manuka Health New Zealand MGO 400+ because it is a lot cheaper than Comvita UMF 20+. Comvita UMF 20+ is way to expensive for me and they don’t sell Comvita UMF 15+ here, but they do sell Comvita UMF 10+. I use manuka honey externally for fighting acne. Knowing that methylglyoxal is not the only component responsible for the antibacterial action of manuka honey, I’m not sure what would be my best choise in the future. An UMF licenced company’s honey with an UMF rating of 10+ (Which is on the lower end of the UMF rating system) or a honey with a MGO rating of 400+ (which is on the higher end of the MGO rating system)? Would the Comvita UMF 10+ be just as good for fighting acne?
    Thanks! :-)

    • Hi Cathrine,

      Yes, Comvita is unfortunately a very expensive brand.

      An MGO rating of 400+ is about the same as a UMF 12+ jar of Manuka honey. There is a rough correlation between methylglyoxal levels and UMF ratings. I would still go with UMF personally, only because of the strength of the rating system; knowing you’re getting a genuine UMF certified Manuka honey with all of it’s stringent quality checks and auditing. The real deal, pure, delicious and effective!

      Please let us know if you have any further questions.


      NZMN Team

  37. Hi ! Thanks for all the information and enjoyed reading all yr findings. Now, I have learnt a lot more about Umf honey.
    There is a promotion for Evergreen Manuka products – when asked about
    Total Activity +12 verses Umf rating? This is what the sales person replied to me :

    ,”TA rating system is different to UMF (NPA or MG) rating. UMF rating is based on Non peroxide Active (NPA) and Total Activity (TA) rating system is based on both peroxide activity and non peroxide activity (PA & NPA).”

    Question: is this a Same kind of strength or better one honey? :)

    Thank you

    • Hi Angela,

      No problem – glad you found it helpful!

      I’ve never heard of the “Total Activity” rating system. I would ask them the following questions:

      -What scientific method do they use to test the rating? And is the rating correlated to a specific scientific standard?
      -What exactly is the audit process for the testing? Is it done independently by independent labs?
      -Is the supply chain from the apiaries (bee keepers) to the testing, to the transportation, to the bottling all tracked and controlled? If so, how?
      -Is there an independent governing body ensuring the quality and honesty of the labeling and rating?

      UMF rated and certified Manuka honey has all of the above to ensure the genuine product. See here for more details on the UMF rating system: http://umf.org.nz/

      All the best,

      NZMN Team

  38. Thank you for your comprehensive post and replies. I have psoriasis and have read mixed reviews on using this honey to help. I know there is no cure but at this point will try anything. What has your research shown and what strength and also what modality is best?
    Thank you

    • Hi Jenny,

      No problem, glad to help!

      For psoriasis / atopic dermatitis there is very strong clinical evidence that UMF Manuka honey helps! Here is one particular research paper for atopic dermatitis/psoriasis and UMF Manuka honey: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005083.pub2/pdf/standard.

      We’re not doctors and can’t give medical advice, but from an anecdotal perspective I would say that if the psoriasis / atopic dermatitis is really bad then go with UMF 20+, if it’s moderate then UMF 15+ will be plenty strong.

      Let us know if you have any further questions.

      All the best,

      NZMN Team

  39. Hi

    I heard from the seller that if I hv a bottle of umf 5+ honey, and if I hv keep it for example 1yr, the umf level would actually increase too. The longer I keep it, the higher umf level it would be. Probably becomes umf 20+.

    Is it true?

    • Hi Zee,

      The UMF level in a jar of UMF Manuka honey won’t increase over time. So, unfortunately it’s not true.

      Thanks for asking!

      NZMN Team

  40. Hi there, I’ve heard wonders about Manuka Honey and want to try it myself. I have a few doubts though, I hope you can help!

    The MGO rating measures Methylglyoxal presence in honey with a +-5% Error.

    What precisely does UMF measure? I read the explanation that is already posted, but it only mentions “many other things”. Could you please confirm how it is calculated? (i.e. what it measures?) Since this is a stringent scientific standard as you mention, it would be great if you could post the test’s repeatability error too.

    Finally, a researcher from the food science department of the Technical University of Munich in Germany told me that EVEN Manuka honey lost all of its properties if it was heated, for instance in a hot drink; but one of the recommended uses you give for the honey is in hot water, doesn’t this eliminate its properties?

    I hope you can help me with this doubts as I’m really looking forward to try it out myself!

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Hanna,

      Good question.

      The UMF rating essentially measures how quickly Manuka honey kills bacteria. The quicker it kills the bacteria, the higher the UMF rating. More information can be found on the UMF Honey Association’s Website: http://www.umf.org.nz. This is measured after the peroxide activity in the Manuka honey is disabled, so that it is only a measure of the entire “Non Peroxide Activity” of the Manuka honey. Essentially it measures the power of the Manuka honey overall. There are many Non-Peroxide aspects that give Manuka honey it’s power and MGO is one of them. As noted in the post above, scientific research has shown that even after MGO is deactivated, the Manuka honey still has antibacterial power, which means that MGO isn’t the only component that gives Manuka honey it’s antibacterial power. It currently isn’t know what all of the those aspects are, but UMF tests the antibacterial power as a whole.

      All of the independent laboratories that test the honey throughout New Zealand are IANZ (New Zealand Government) accredited to ensure accuracy of testing.

      If you can post a peer-reviewed scientific white paper outlining that German researcher’s findings, then I would be glad to read it. Until then, there is no scientific research that shows Manuka honey in a hot drink does anything to negatively affect the health properties in the honey.

      All the best!

      NZMN Team

  41. Hello, great article and great replies to the questions. You’ve managed to answer most of my questions on this one page. Phew! I just have one more, is UMF 20+ Safe for my toddler to take for colds or coughs? I mean, it’s just honey right? I shouldn’t necessarily treat it as medicine as there are no side effects? Even though I will only use this specific UMF 20+ honey for sickness and first aid. Should I even bother getting anything lower than 20+? Because if this is the good concentrated stuff I don’t want to delay healing. Is there such a thing as too strong? Thank you in advance!! Look forward in purchasing your products!!

      • Hi Liza,

        There shouldn’t be any difference.

        Again, we aren’t doctors and can’t offer medical advice, so just speaking from a practical perspective.


        NZMN Team

    • Hi Liza,

      No problem – the more questions we can help with the better!

      We aren’t doctors and can’t offer medical advice, but from practical perspective there is no general restriction for giving high grade UMF Manuka honey to kids. The only things to be aware of are: 1) generally any honey shouldn’t be given to kids under 1 year old and 2) ideally we’d recommend ensuring the child doesn’t have it before bed without brushing his/her teeth because of the natural sugars of honey.

      I would stick with 20+ if you’re going to keep it around just for the purpose of sickness and first aid, as it has the highest antibacterial/antiviral rating.

      There’s generally no such thing as “too strong”, although it has been indicated in scientific studies that anything higher than UMF 20+ doesn’t seem to make any more significant of a difference in improving overall health. Also, it is very rare to find anything higher than UMF 20+ anyway because it is a purely natural product. It’s hard to keep UMF 20+ in stock as it is because our bee-keepers depend on the bees and the highest grade UMF 20+ doesn’t get produced by the bees as often.

      Hope this helps you out! Feel free to ask any other questions you might have.

      NZMN Team

  42. Hi i read about manuka honey curing acid reflux. But in our country only UMF 10+ are available. Where can i buy online that can shipped the item to the philippines. As far as what i have read here i need UMF 20+. Tnx

    • Hi Ben,

      Yes, one of our directors had terrible acid reflux for years. He tried a lot of different medical options, but the acid reflux always came back and worse each time!

      He then started on high grade UMF Manuka honey (around 2 teaspoons a day) and after a number of months he’s never had it again! Completely cured.

      We can ship to the Philippines. Simply add an item to your cart and you’ll be able to calculate shipping inside your cart.

      Please let us know if you have any further questions.


      NZMN Team

  43. Thank you so much for all the information you have given. I learn a lot about manuka honey from your posts.

    I only have one question, I live in Canada,do you ship to Canada?

    • Hi Joan,

      No problem – glad you found it useful!

      Yes, we do ship to Canada. If you add products to your cart then you’ll be able to calculate shipping there.

      NZMN Team

  44. Hi NZMN Team,

    I have been taking UMF20+ for past few months to treat eczema. I realized different bottles (same brand) of Manuka UMF20+ honey texture vary… Some bottles which are very thick and some rather liquid form. Why?

    • Hi, Thanks for the question!
      Each batch of honey can differ in it’s texture and taste (I too have noticed this with different bottles of Manuka honey from the same supplier). Some honey tends to crystallize much fast than others and it’s viscosity can be very dependent on the environment in which the bees are foraging. Also, honey’s liquidity will be very dependent on the size of the bottle and the temperature on any given day (a smaller 250gm jar, for example, will be warmed more quickly by the ambient temperature and seem more liquid than a 500gm jar on the same day).
      As long as it’s genuine UMF certified Manuka Honey, all of this doesn’t affect the quality or antibacterial properties of the honey. It is just part and parcel of a natural product.
      NZMN Team

  45. Hi,
    Do you know why manuka ( also UMF ) is sold in plastic jars?
    Manuka honey is acidic and potential to interact with plastic surface of jar must exist.
    At the other hand, glass is the safest environment to store in.
    I understand the ‘transportation issue’, however, if manuka is advertised as pro – health product, such an important factor as safety for it’s contest, should be taken into account in natural way.


    • Hi,

      Thanks for your questions! Yes as you say, the main reason that Manuka honey is packaged in plastic is due to transportation issues with glass packaging. Not only is it more likely to end up broken during transport but it is also significantly heavier which increases shipping costs for the purchaser. For many customers who are ordering from quite a distance the shipping cost is already significant. However, the plastic used is BPA free. If you are particularly interested in purchasing UMF Manuka honey in a glass jar please contact us via the website as we may be able to source this for you.

      Kind regards,


  46. Is 30 UMF to strong and if it is can you dilute it with regular honey or just reduce the amount you put in your tea? I have used the Manuka Honey UMF 10 on my face and I was amazed with how my skin looked. Would Manuka Honey UMF 30 do even better?

    • Hi,

      Thanks for your comment. I actually have not seen UMF 30+ before. Perhaps the honey you are referring to is rated using a different system? The highest UMF rating I have encountered is 22+. The higher the UMF rating the stronger the antibacterial action of the honey, so if you require the antibacterial action for your skin then you could try an higher UMF rating or perhaps save the higher rated honey for any particular spots/skin infections. It’s always wise to do a spot check when using a new product on your skin prior to using liberally. All the best!

  47. Hi,

    I had a question about a Manuka honey rating that I have not seen before. I came across the term Manuka Honey AAH 650+ , I am confused about the strength of this honey. Can this be converted to a UMF rating or is it a totally different method for rating Manuka Honey? I am very interested in purchasing the highest UMF Manuka Honey I can get ( 20+ or above). Any suggestions on where I can buy the highest rating Manuka honey from? I’d appreciate your help.



  48. Hello.
    Do you know of any brands that package manuka honey in glass jars? (I am concerned about potential leaching of plastics into the acidic honey.)
    Also, I was reading through some older q&a’s and, please correct me if I am misinterpreting this but, you had written something to the effect that taking double of a lower strength is not necessarily the same as taking a higher strength. There are different indications for different strengths, and I had wanted to purchase the highest strength available and use 1/2 teaspoonful as opposed to 1 full teaspoonful daily for general health and more when needed. Do you recommend this? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi CC,

      We can offer UMF Manuka honey in glass jars. If you send us an email indicating how much you would like, we can arrange for this.

      Regarding taking double of a lower strength, that is correct, it won’t make the combined strength higher. So, for example, taking a double dose of UMF 10+ won’t equal a single dose of UMF 20+. We have a blog post on what UMF is and that might help to clarify it more: http://nzmanukanatural.com/blog/what-do-the-umf-rating-levels-mean-whats-the-difference-between-umf-10-and-umf-20/.

      I would recommend buying the rating that you need depending on what you’re trying to achieve. UMF 15+ would have the highest therapeutic properties, but UMF 10+ also has good therapeutic properties and is good for overall health maintenance.

      All the best,

      NZMN Team

  49. Hi, I’ve struggled w staph and Mrsa for years. Nothing has worked! No doctors or traditional medicine has helped me. Through my research I’ve heard Manuka honey is a great alternative treatment. I’m confused though on which type I need to buy. I’ve read “active” but today I went to my trusted local health food store and bought Manuka health MGO 400. Was I right in buying this? Please help! I am a woman on the edge! I’ve tried it all! This 8 ounce jar was very expensive. But now I am reading I need the active 16+. Is this correct? Will what I have work? Even after reading your what’s the difference article I am still confused. Many thank you’s in advance. Rachel R

    • Hi Rachel,

      Apologies for the delay in replying. We’ve had such a huge number of inquiries that it can be hard to keep up!

      I’m so sorry to hear about the Staph and MRSA. Yes, UMF Manuka honey is brilliant in so many ways. MGO 400 is equivalent to roughly UMF 11 or so. Only trouble is that the MGO rating only measures ones aspect of the honey (the MGO levels) rather than the full antibacterial power of it (the UMF rating).

      I would say go with UMF 15+ in the effort to get the best result possible with MRSA and Staph.

      Many thanks,

      NZMN Team

  50. All enzyme activity is dead at between 114-118 degees F.Google this.Enzymes in honey are an impotant nutritional factor of honey.DO NOT HEAT OR PUT IN HOT TEA.

  51. Hi ! My children( 2girls) have a staphylococcus aureous into throat. I don’t want to push them to antibiotic track. How can I treat it with a Manuka Honey? what number of Umf for them? How often ?do they need take a brake during the long-term treatment? Thank you

    • Hi Marlena,

      Sorry to hear about your two girls.

      We aren’t doctors and can’t give medical advice, but based on what I’ve seen I would say go for a heaped teaspoon of UMF 15+ twice a day. People don’t normally need to take any breaks as this is a completely natural product with gentle but powerful antibacterial properties.

      All the best!

      NZMN Team

  52. Hi. Will daily tablespoon of umf20+ be too strong for general health of a 24 years old? What do you recommend for daily consumption?

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